THUNDERBIRDS

T-Birds’ offense rebounds in 5-2 win over Tri City

Nov 26, 2016, 7:43 AM | Updated: 10:16 pm

After being shut out on Wednesday, the Seattle Thunderbirds made sure things would be different Friday night in Kennewick.

The T-Birds’ Nolan Volcan scored 43 seconds in, giving Seattle a lead it would not give up in a 5-2 win over the Tri City Americans. Mathew Barzal set up three more Seattle goals and backup goalie Matt Berlin made 23 saves to pick up his second win in the net.

Seattle (12-9-1-1) started Berlin against Tri City (15-9-2-0) because both Rylan Toth and Carl Stankowski are nursing injuries. For the second time this season, he responded when asked to step in. The victory raised his record to 2-0 and has to give the T-Birds some confidence in the 18 year old while it waits for the injured goalies to get back.

Volcan’s goal was his 10th of the season as he flung a wrist shot past Tri City goalie Evan Sarthou after Scott Eansor won a face off. Eansor, who had a five-game goal scoring streak snapped on Wednesday, was more of a play-maker Friday. His second assist on the night came with a minute left in the first period when he fed Sami Moilanen for a tap-in goal. It was Moilanen’s sixth goal of the season and gave the T-Birds a 2-0 lead.

Tri City would cut the lead to 1 a minute into the second period when Dylan Coghlan banged home a rebound off the end boards.

Head coach Steve Konowalchuk has been looking for the Barzal line to get going since being reunited, and Friday night may have been the start.

Just over a minute after the Americans’ goal, Barzal set up Ethan Bear for a slap shot from the point that blew by Sarthou to give Seattle a 3-1 lead.

Tri City would make it 3-2 after a power-play goal by Juuso Valimaki in the second period, but Barzal and company would take care of business in the third.

Barzal would find Keegan Kolesar in the high slot midway through the final period for the big winger’s first goal of the year to make it 4-2. Four minutes later, Ryan Gropp was the recipient of a Barzal pass on the power play. Gropp fired the puck for his fourth of the season.

Seattle, which is now 5-1-1-0 in its last six games, got back to scoring goals Friday like they were before Wednesday’s shutout in Everett.

The T-Birds will finish off their busy week Saturday night when they host the Victoria Royals at the ShoWare Center.

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